Biogen announced Monday that chief commercial officer Michel Vounatsos will succeed George Scangos as CEO of the company, effective January 6. This past July, Biogen stated that Scangos would step down from his post after a successor was identified.
"In seeking our next chief executive, the board sought a leader with a record in building commercial operations and a passion for science," remarked chairman Stelios Papadopoulos, adding "it was clear to us through a rigorous search process that [Vounatsos] is that leader who can guide Biogen in the next phase of its evolution."
Biogen said Vounatsos joined the company in April after spending 20 years at Merck & Co., where he held various "positions of increasing responsibility in Europe, China and the US, driving significant and consistent growth across multiple geographies." Biogen also credited him with implementing key initiatives to promote the company's position in multiple sclerosis (MS), with expanding its reach in key global markets and with helping it prepare for the launch of breakthrough treatments in areas of high unmet need.
"I am excited to build upon Biogen's legacy, as we pursue innovative new therapies for those suffering from serious neurologic and neurodegenerative diseases," Vounatsos stated. Regarding near-term priorities, he said "we intend to gain approval for Spinraza (nusinersen) to provide the first treatment for spinal muscular atrophy, continue to grow our global MS franchise, fully enroll our Phase III trials for aducanumab as we advance our lead candidate in Alzheimer's disease, [and] reinvigorate our pipeline in the areas of neurology and neuro-repair."
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